I have battled my eyebrows for most of my life. Even as a kid, they were always octogenarian thick. When I hit 12, though, they became a legitimate natural preserve. Around this same time, they also merged together — with the proverbial unibrow stretching across the bottom portion of my forehead.
I, of course, attempted to tame it/them, but always clumsily, and never with success. First, I shaved my unibrow with my dad’s Gillette four-blade razor. The outcome wasn’t ideal. I had two eyebrows again, but they were jagged, awful and somehow much more unsightly than the unibrow. As for their bushiness, I attempted to remedy that via tweezers, only to realize once I’d finished that I’d now shaped my eyebrows into thin sticks of different widths and lengths.
Even today, at age 31, I’m still at a loss for how to make them manageable, let alone look nice. So I’ve just sorta let nature take its course and allowed them to grow, suffering the same fate as this guy on Reddit who feels as though no one stares him in the face — they stare him right in the eyebrow instead.
But when I reached out to some experts for their thoughts, they assured me that my eyebrows — both their thicket-ness and singular quality — could be remedied with some very simple grooming techniques.
First, allow me to state the obvious, which I obviously learned the hard way: You should never attack your unibrow with a razor. “I’ve seen so many guys where it’s so obvious they just dragged a razor in between their eyes,” says Sunny, a hairstylist, cosmetologist and my girlfriend (i.e., the woman who loves me despite my unibrow). As I discovered as a tween, the problem with that approach is you’re going to lop off too much eyebrow.
Sunny tells me that a good trick for knowing where your eyebrows should start and stop is to take a pen against the outside of your nostril and follow the line upward so that you only remove the hairs beyond that line. “Any wider, and it gives the appearance of your eyes being set too far apart,” she explains. And again, eschew any blade for tweezers. “If you use an electric razor or a blade, you run the risk of taking off too many hairs,” Sunny says. “You also might be changing the shape of your eyebrows.”
“I’m always thinking of maintaining length with minimal trimming,” explains Frankie, an eyebrow specialist at Hammer and Nails, a grooming lounge for men. That’s because too much trimming could produce the opposite effect — eyebrows that appear pencil-thin. To that end, Frankie says most guys come into Hammer and Nails wanting their eyebrows to look like they’ve been “just barely groomed.”
In terms of what “minimal” and “just barely groomed” means, Justine, an eyebrow specialist at lash studio GBY Beauty, tells me that it typically involves using a fine-tooth comb to brush your eyebrows upward and trim off the excess hairs that stick out from your natural eyebrow line with a pair of scissors. “That way, you’re not changing the shape of the brow or cutting away too much,” she says.
Now, if you do want to change the shape of your eyebrows, this is where you need to enlist a professional. Think of it like a haircut: “Every three to four weeks for brow shaping and a trim,” Justine says. You can try to do it yourself, but you’re probably gonna end up looking like a 12-year-old me.
Moreover, if you’re worried about your eyebrows appearing thin, a professional can tint them for you. “We just dye the eyebrows to make them darker,” Justine explains. “The added color makes them look fuller and thicker.”
Maybe they can de-tint mine?